Last Sunday Kolby described how we are at the end of the church year and the end of our story as a Church. We close the year celebrating the coming reign of Christ our King. But it is important that you understand the story from start to finish. Christians inhabit time in a particular way that acknowledges that we follow Jesus each and every day.
Church time is measured slightly differently, in seasons of feasting and fasting that take us through the life of Jesus and the age of the Church that watches and waits for his return. The lectionary of scripture readings used by the church guides us through this story in both the Old and New Testaments. And our songs, prayers, and liturgy lead to respond to the story as it unfolds in our worship and, hopefully, in our daily lives
I’ve heard critiques from Christians who are not from a liturgical tradition that the church year and its seasons seem arbitrary and detached from scripture. My experience has been the opposite. The church year is an ever present reminder that I am following Jesus through my days. Left to my own devices my seasons would be themed around my interests and feelings. The season of overindulging, the season of self-pity, the season of good intentions with poor follow through, and the season of Netflix binging.
Instead, I enter into God’s timing marked out by the events of Jesus’ life. Advent is the season of preparation for the arrival of Jesus. Christmas is the season of joy because Jesus has come to us. Epiphany is the celebration that he brings light to the whole world. Lent is the season of repentance and returning for all his disciples. Holy Week brings us with Jesus to the cross. Easter is the season of living hope of the resurrection of Jesus and, therefore, us too. Pentecost is the celebration that Jesus’ story does not end when he ascends into heaven because his Spirit-empowered church continues his mission. And Ordinary Time is the reminder that all of our days have meaning while we number our days, waiting for Jesus’ return.
I invite you to join us in this way of following Jesus through the year. As we enter into Advent this Sunday, we also enter into Life Season at Restoration. Our emphasis is on worshipping Jesus as a church and as individuals and families in our homes. In short, we want to follow Jesus so closely that we are transformed to be like him. I believe that God has wonderful things in store for us this season as we lean into spiritual disciplines and begin writing a rule of life to help us faithfully respond to the work that the Holy Spirit is doing in us.
Begin the season of Advent with us this Sunday. Remember that in many ways we are like Israel longing for the promised Messiah. Our story of following Jesus through the year will come full circle as we begin our year preparing and waiting for him to come again.